1,000 signatures reached
To: The Federal Trade Commission, The Department of Justice, and members of the United States Congress
It's Time To Break Up Facebook's Monopoly
The FTC, Department of Justice and Congress should spin off Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger into competing networks, require interoperability, so we have the freedom to communicate across social networks, and impose strong privacy rules that empower and protect us and diminish the ability to profit off our personal information.
Why is this important?
Most of us use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. They’re important ways for us to communicate and connect with each other.
But Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have amassed a scary amount of power. Facebook unilaterally decides the news that billions of people around the world see every day. It buys up or bankrupts potential competitors to protect its monopoly, killing innovation and choice. It tracks us almost everywhere we go on the web and, through our smartphones, even where we go in the real world. It uses this intimate data hoard to figure out how to addict us and our children to its services. And then Facebook serves up everything about us to its true customers -- virtually anyone willing to pay for the ability to convince us to buy, do, or believe something.
And it is spending millions on corporate lobbyists, academics, and think tanks to ensure no one gets in their way.
Just this week, a whistleblower revealed what many of us have known: They Facebook executives prioritize profit over public good—whether the devastating results support genocides, lead to depression among teenagers, induce violence against people of color, spread disinformation about COVID-19, or incite attacks against our democracy.
And on Monday, when Facebook's service was interrupted for 5 hours, it also took down Instagram and WhatsApp, which is a major network of communication in many developing nations—showing once again how the concentration of power in one corporation can have truly crippling impact on communities and the economy.
The five members of the Federal Trade Commission, which is the part of our government tasked with overseeing Facebook, can make Facebook safe for our democracy by breaking it up, giving us the freedom to communicate across networks, and protecting our privacy. Congress can pursue investigations to expose the extent of Facebook's unchecked power and pass legislation to limit its power and protect our privacy. And the Department of Justice must pursue every avenue to reduce the concentration of power Facebook holds and abuses.
Together, we will make sure that they do.